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  1. Recently it was announced that the US Patent Office cancelled the Washington Redskins' (an American football, not soccer, team) because the term Redskins was offensive to Native Americans. The term Redskin is a racially/color related term that is usually disparaging, and used to describe Native Americans. Source There are strong feels on both sides, making some ask whether we are becoming too politically correct, what the role of tradition and the free market should be, and whether we should care whether we offend someone else or not. In Cleveland, Ohio, USA, where I live, we have a baseball team called the Indians, and our mascot has always been Chief Wahoo. Here is what the Logo looks like today: IMAGE (because it won't let me post it) The large sign on the left is now gone from the field, but the mascot on the right still remains. This is a largely stereotypical depiction of a Native American. Some say it is not that much different from these images, which are almost universally considered to be unquestionably offensive: Black Cartoon Image Japanese Cartoon Image Black Cartoon Image 2 So, the question is, should Chief Wahoo go. I'd say yes. There is, practically, no logical difference between Chief Wahoo's stereotypical characteristics and those of other cartoons and images that are considered to be highly offensive and, ultimately, racist. The only real argument I have been hearing from others is that it is "tradition" and we shouldn't change "tradition." If "tradition" were a good enough reason in and of itself to keep something around, then fraternities should still haze, we could still encourage slavery in America, and black people would still be considered 3/5ths of a person as they were originally considered under the United States Constitution, because changing those things would be taboo or would harm tradition. Tradition, in and of itself, is not a valid reason to maintain the status quo, and it is not an inherently good thing. I have also heard opponents say "the native americans don't really care, they aren't out there protesting all the time." Two things. First, some of them are out there protesting at the games. Second, we as a country did our best to kill most Native Americans off and push the remaining population into small reservations far away from Cleveland, Ohio. That may have some impact on that. However, doing something simple--getting rid of Chief Wahoo so as to not to offend a group of people that we have practically killed off with guns, alcohol, wars, and small pox blankets, and who we forced to relocate to small reservations in the Western US where no one really wants to live--that is an inherently good thing. It will be appreciated by a large portion of the Native American community, and it will teach out children a valuable lesson in the future--yes you have free speech, but your speech can be very harmful and can hurt people, and you should understand circumstances that surround something before you talk, draw, etc. about it. There is something inherently good about understanding, compassion, and respect. There is nothing inherently good about Chief Wahoo, tradition, or racial stereotypes. Thoughts?
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